Phoolan Devi Biography

Of a lower-caste background from a small village in India, Phoolan Devi was known as the "Bandit Queen," a gun-slinging gang leader who fought authority and became a champion of the downtrodden. She first made a name for herself in 1981 as the leader of a gang who killed 22 rivals in what was dubbed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Pursued by the government and rivals, she was arrested and imprisoned in 1983. Still a popular hero, in 1994 she was released and elected to Parliament as a member of the Samajwadi Party. In July of 2001 she was gunned down by four men in front of her house in New Delhi.

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